Bogus Hardship Withdrawals Leads to Conviction

A woman accused of persuading Chrysler auto workers to take bogus hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) accounts has been convicted, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors accused Mary Kennedy Howard of filing hardship requests totaling about $600,000 for purchases of houses that did not exist. Howard took a 10% fee from the hardships.

Howard filed 46 401(k) withdrawal requests from 1998 to 2002, mostly for people who worked at Chrysler LLC’s Warren Stamping Plant, the AP said.

According to prosecutors, the 64-year-old woman turned down an attractive plea deal before the trial. She was convicted of mail fraud on Wednesday.

Howard will be sentenced on October 30.